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Pecking Problem!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sarah orr, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

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    Hello,

    First time chick raiser here. I have 19 chicks, 18 female, 1 rooster. They are 5 weeks old and healthy. I have a problem though. They were in a 4X3X3 brooder and it got cramped, so I enlarged it. But over the past week, my cockerel, Salmon Favorelle, pecked all the feathers off one of the female Salmon Favorelles. He hasn't pecked any of the other chicks. How do I help her? Do I need to remove her from the brooder? Do something with him?

    Thanks for the advice.
    Sarah
     
  2. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They may need a lot more room, lowered temperature, something to do, higher protein feed.

    Yes, the picked on should be removed and dealt with asap after you notice picking and feather eating. What it sounds like is too many bird.

    I get mine out on grass at about three weeks in a predator proof pen of hardware cloth. If it is below 80°F I would have a heat source. If you can't get them out on grass then bigger area to roam and things like perch es to hop up and down on. Stuff to peck, melon rinds, raw corn on the cob, apples halved, etc. So they can scratch and peck. Being raised on wire seems to encourage picking.

    Also, get some chick sized grit and add to feed, about a pinch per bird every few days. They need grit before you add the melon rind, etc.

    You may not be able to break habit of feather picking once entrenched.
    If you can't get chicks out on grass you can lift sections of sod and bring to them. Grass should be short, so not to overwhelm crop. Also, sprouts are OK, too.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    They need to be out in a much larger space, and will probably be fine without a heat source, depending on the temps. Your coop and run would be best, so there's at least four sq. ft. per bird, and roosts, and activities. Mine also are free ranging during part of the day by this age, so there's more to do. I would remove the cockrel for a week or so, rather than the pullet, unless she's being harassed by other pullets. Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There's something else you can try. Your cockerel is still a chick and you may be able to train the pecking out of him if you dedicate yourself to it. You don't need to spend a lot of time, just every few hours or so for a few minutes.

    When a chick engages in unacceptable behavior, the broody mama pecks the chick on the back when she sees it misbehave. If you give your chick a poke with your finger each time you see him go for another chick, he may get the idea that this is not a good way to behave.

    This works very well is very short order for chicks one to two weeks old. It may work with your chick, too. I would give it a try, but you will need to leave him with the other chicks for this training to be effective. If you see no improvement in three days, then remove him.

    I wrote an article about this chick training. It's linked below my post. If it doesn't show up, try reducing the size of the type on this page.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

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    We created a much larger space for them the other day. It's now about 7X4X3. I'm hoping this helps the problem.
     
  6. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

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    Thank you! I will give this a try.
     
  7. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

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    Their coop is almost complete. It's 12X16X8. I made their brooder much larger. It's now 7X4. Hoping this helps. Only the cockerel seems to be bothering her. I'll remove him today if I don't see any improvement. Thank you for your help. This is tough.
     
  8. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

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    I made their brooder a lot larger the other day, so I am hoping this helps. They already seem happier. I also put grit in their food daily. I will look into adding grass and other foods. Thanks for all your help. Hopefully the problem does not persist. I'll remove her or the cockerel today if I see it continuing.
     
  9. silkiefrizzles

    silkiefrizzles Just Hatched

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    if he's still picking on that one girl, mabey get some purple no-peck spray stuff for her
     

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